Jakaiyah Franklin


Killeen, TX

Academic Interests

Global Health, Biology (specifically cellular and molecular biology), documentary studies, ethics, and public policy.

Fun Fact

I lived in Germany for three years.

My interests start with my love for sci-fi and fantasy books, but now I am starting to read thrillers. Now, in terms of my academic interests, I like biology, specifically microbiology and infectious diseases. I am currently the treasurer for the Duke Chapter of the NAACP, and over the summer, I participated in Duke Engage Kenya. While there, I helped collect data for the water project that was conducted throughout the program. In addition, I helped with WISER's Sexual Reproductive Health club in creating activities and lessons. Another highlight of this experience would be helping teach English, science, and math to primary schoolers. All in all, the whole experience was amazing, and I would try to go back if I could. Also, the experience confirmed that I want to be able to travel in my future career. As of right now, I want to be a field epidemiologist or a virologist. Prior to both of those, I want to earn my Ph.D. in either global health, epidemiology, infectious diseases, or virology. However, before I can decide on which Ph.D. program I want to do, I need to finish earning my bachelor's. I am currently creating program II that will revolve around the One Health system and how there are multiple factors that are causing the increase of infectious diseases. My goal in the future is to graduate with distinction and be accepted into a good Ph.D. program that is the perfect fit for me. In addition, my overall goal is to, at one point in my life, study disease and understand it to a point in which I can help create a vaccine for it.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

​​​​​​​The main thing I like about being a SPIRE Fellow would have to be the community. All fellows and directors are very kind, and they are all passionate in their respective fields. I also like how there is a level of understanding between the SPIRE fellows that may be hard to achieve in different spaces at Duke. Also, the support from teachers and administrators allows me to remain confident in my studies. Being a SPIRE fellow has allowed me to be exposed to great people and great opportunities, and every day I am grateful I decided to apply for this program.  

Jakaiyah Franklin
Jakaiyah Franklin